Katinka Bock’s “Smog”
              Simone Menegoi
              Katinka Bock compares works to words and exhibitions to texts. The analogy explains the relationship between the two aspects of the Franco-German artist’s work: the sculptures, silver prints, and occasional films, on the one hand, and the sophisticated displays that she creates out of them, whose value is greater than the sum of their parts, on the other. These correspond to two ways of reading Bock’s practice: to focus on the single work, with its delicate material qualities, or to embrace the whole, with its syntactic properties. If Bock’s exhibitions are texts then “Smog,” her third solo show at Berlin’s Meyer Riegger, is particularly poetic. Two rooms are arranged as if they were two long sentences, rich in subordinate clauses and parentheses; sentences that could have been written by Marcel Proust, full of internal symmetries, of repetitions and variations, aimed at pursuing a nuance of perception or memory. The first room revolves around Grosse Liegende (2017), which is made out of several elements: a horizontal support (an old mattress coil topped by a glass pane), upon which the artist has placed the metal mold of a fish, a matte brown ceramic sculpture, and another ceramic sculpture with abraded blue enamel. The …
              Eva Kot’átková’s “Diary of a stomach”
              Ana Ofak
              “What have you eaten today?” a metallic voiceover inquires. The reply, uttered by a child, hesitantly, is “nothing.” Yet in the course of the transitory interrogation that unfolds in the middle of Eva Kot’átková’s most recent film Stomach of the world (2017), currently being shown by the Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative at the Benaki Museum in Athens, and related to an exhibition currently on view at Berlin’s Meyer Riegger, nothing becomes plenty of something. We listen to the child catalog thoughts and lost objects as if filling the void of sustenance. The empty stomach is repurposed into a container for the spam of life. Crammed with information, it becomes capable of expelling appetite and even anxiety from the system. Hunger, it seems to convey, is hunger for fabrication, not food. Kot’átková’s installations tend to submerge the observer in such morbid enterologies of infant worlds. And infant worlds, we quickly gather, are no democratic assemblies. Working with collage, drawing, sculpture, film, and, lately, gallery walls, the artist has forged an idiosyncratic totality of these worlds over the years, which almost emulates an organism that sustains invariable aesthetics, yet generates ever-new contingencies connected to childhood. Kot’áková thereby characterizes childhood as a battery of …
              Eva Kotátková’s “They are Coming”
              Kirsty Bell
              Passers-by who found themselves at the farthest reaches of Berlin’s Friedrichstrasse in late April may have been surprised to notice an array of animated body parts on display in a shop window. A pair of eyes, a pair of hands, a face, an arm, two knees and their feet protruded from a black curtain screening off the window. As an introduction to Eva Kotátková’s second solo exhibition at Meyer Riegger, the performative installation, Fragmented Body 1 (installation for a performance) (2013), paid tribute to the long-standing tradition of Prague’s National Black Light Theater Company, and spoke of the potential of gesture and the surprising liberation of physical fragmentation. For those who entered the gallery, however, the pantomime was quickly over, as the performers were revealed from the back in all their ordinariness, standing on the low window ledge with various limbs poking through holes in the black curtain. But in turning the window ledge into a stage, the gallery visitors were at once in the privileged position of being backstage. As a result, the other sculptures on show, such as the Theatre of Speaking Objects (black theatre props) (2013), on a platform which took up the entire floor space of …

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